Bill description: SB 1113 would amend many of Idaho’s campaign finance laws and would apply disclosure requirements to many of Idaho’s small cities.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
SB 1113 would require individuals to disclose campaign contributions and expenditures made for local elections if a candidate receives or spends more than $500. Under current law, a candidate running for office in a city of less than 5,000 people is not required to disclose her contributions and expenditures. Roughly 30 cities in the state have a population greater than 5,000.
By extending the burdensome campaign finance reporting requirements to elections in all cities across the state and any candidate that receives or expends more than a nominal $500 amount, SB 1113 could discourage candidates from running for local elections in many of Idaho’s more than 200 cities.
The bill would also increase the threshold for classification as a political committee from $500 to $1,000. State law defines a political committee as any person specifically designated to support or oppose any candidate or measure, or any person who receives or makes contributions in excess of $500 to support or oppose one or more candidates or measures.
By increasing this $500 threshold to $1,000, SB 1113 would ensure that individuals who make many contributions to voice their support or opposition to candidates or measures are not then required to register as a political committee. The revision to state law would uphold the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article I, Section 9 of the Idaho Constitution, each of which guarantees the freedom of speech and association.
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